The Aeropress was one of the first speciality coffee brewers I ever bought, and so many years later it’s still one of my favourites. I never travel without one as it’s easily the most versatile brewer I own. In the summer I brew iced coffee with it, and in the winter I brew it hot. In the fall I’ll even be competing amongst Canada’s best to come up with the best brew recipe! Brewing a great cup of coffee with the Aeropress is pretty straight forward, but one of the most pressing questions (pun intended) is filtration. It comes with a few hundred paper filters when you take it out of the box, but there are countless alternatives to the standard paper filters to be tried!
Some of my least favourite filters
First, what’s the problem with those standard paper filters? They do a great job of filtering out sediment and sludge from the final cup, but they don’t allow precious coffee oils through. In addition, they’re not reusable. In every element of our coffee brewing process we should be looking for ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle more. I recently wrote about my favourite reusable cups that you can bring the next time you’re at your local café!
There are all kinds of third party Aeropress filters - paper, metal, mesh, the list goes on. I didn’t think we needed another one in an already saturated market until a Canadian Kickstarter project caught my eye. The name got my attention first, “ameuus” with a logo that boasts a bold and bright orange a. Pronounced like “amuse”, this Canadian innovation was created to filter out the sludge that most metal filters let pass through but allow the bold oils that paper filters catch within their fibres.
One of the reasons the Aeropress stays on the shelf longer than it should in my home is because of that very reason. I don’t love paper filters, and I’ve never used a metal filter that’s done its job good enough. At $19 ($15USD) funding this project was a no brainer to me.
The new kid on the block
I ordered a set of two of their o2 filter models that came with a carrying case, and if they hit their stretch goal on Kickstarter they’d throw in a little drying stand as well. The o2 model is a set of two filters designed to be used together, effectively for dual filtration. Each individual filter boasts ~50K precision cut holes, measuring an average of 30 microns in diameter when you use both filters together.
The ameuus filters come in a great little carrying case, drying stand included. My first impression of the filters was a little bit of shock, as I still can’t quite wrap my head around how flexible these little guys are. Comparatively to other metal filters that barely flex, these filters are delicate, pliable, and resemble mesh more than stainless. They are made out of 304 food grade stainless steel though, so it was clear before I even put these filters to use that I was holding a brand new innovation.
To test these new filters I brewed them against their two most common counterparts: the standard paper filter and a popular brand stainless filter. This test wasn’t primarily to evaluate taste, but rather just to analyze any sediment that made it through. I can make a good tasting Aeropress with just about any kind of filter, I even did it with a commercial Bunn filter that I cut into a circle once…
Time to test
I set up three Aeropress brewers side by side and inverted, and brewed three identical cups using fresh beans ground on a Mahlkonig EK43. The paper filter gave the most resistance when it came time to press, the ameuus filters slightly behind, and the Able stainless filter gave significantly less push back.
The bottom of the cup was what I was looking for, and I saw exactly what I hoped to see.
The Able Disk let through a significant amount of fines, which has always been my main problem with it. The EK43 gave me much more of a consistent grind size with minimal fines than any grinder you’re likely using at home, so your results at home would result in even more fines than my test did. Sure, you get the oils you’re looking for, but this concentration of sludge is almost untolerable.
The Aeropress paper filters did exactly what I expected them to do, letting through a small amount of sediment that is unavoidable and not altogether unpleasant. That’s par for the course with the Aeropress, so if you’re looking for the cleanest cup possible it’s probably not the brewer for you.
The ameuus filters were up next, and I was pleasantly surprised by the results. This pair of pliable stainless filters let through an identical amount of sediment as the paper filters to my eye, and to my taste they allowed the coffee oils pass that paper filters don’t. This is exactly what I was hoping for from these filters!
Cleaning the ameuus filters is quick and easy, as a simple wash and rub together will do it. Stand them up to dry in the clever drying stand, and they’ll be ready to use next time you’re ready to brew.
The ameuus project was backed and funded on Kickstarter in just 3 days, and by the end of the campaign it was 1886% funded. 951 people got behind this project, and I’d be shocked if they weren’t all as impressed as I am. These stainless steel filters are truly unique, filtering out sediment like a paper filter but without the shortcomings of metal filters. The convenient carrying case is just like the Aeropess itself, ready to travel with you wherever you’re headed.
The ameuus filters are available today for preorder on Indiegogo.